Tag Archives: DJ Workshops

More than just a DJ

By Rachel Lynch

As a DJ who has reached a pinnacle in their career after 13 years, my view of ‘what a DJ is’ has shifted 180 degrees from when I started. Looking back, I had no idea about the extra skills and flexibility needed beyond the decks and turntables to make it in this business. Even though technology has eased some of the burdens of being a mobile, DJing in 2018 is a job that requires wearing more hats than ever.

The Salesman:

I’ve always thought of myself as a terrible salesperson. In fact, every job I have ever held growing up has avoided two things, sales and math (the kind of math I was told I would need growing up and never did). When I decided to become a DJ, I figured it would be a safe way to avoid both. To my surprise, years later I have realized I couldn’t be more wrong. Selling your services is one of the most essential skills to develop as a DJ. One of the most significant changes I made to my sales approach was to stop selling “equipment and years of experience” and start focusing on selling “me and my value as a DJ.” In the absence of value, everyone shops on price. The key is to show them why having YOU as their DJ will positively impact the total experience they are seeking. Personality, charm, wit, kindness, dependability, and approachability are more important than the number of watts on the back of your powered sub. I wish I had embraced this earlier on (and wasn’t so stubborn on doing what I thought DJs did). Sales are a part of what we do.

The Marketing Manager:

Before social media took the world by storm, DJs relied heavily on promoters, the Yellow Pages (I’m dating myself now), word of mouth, business cards, and other less interactive platforms to get their brand out there. While it can be epically overwhelming for those intimidated by technology, it is now the task of a DJ to be involved with selecting the appropriate social media channels for their customer base. I’m not here to tell you how to market but rather why you need to. Word of mouth will always be the best advertising, but unfortunately, DJs working in the current climate will need to do their own promotions, ads, flyers, videos, and social media management if they want to be recognized as a player in this arena. Luckily, there are a lot of great apps that make creating promotional content a breeze. Some of my favorites are Canva, Clips, iMovie, Spark Post, Spark Video, LiveCollage, Grammarly.

The R&D Department:

Music today is being pushed out at an astonishing rate from multiple sources (YouTube, curated Spotify lists, SoundCloud, and other music-related apps). Acquiring music is instantaneous and audiences are becoming more and more savvy about finding the music they love; it’s no longer about what local radio is pumping out. Add shows like X-Factor and The Voice, and music is now so tangled in pop culture that DJing is not just about music anymore; it’s about what’s going on around us, too. Do your homework (unlike you did in middle school) and dedicate some time each week to do some pop culture searches and news. It will keep you fresh and current. Trust me.

The IT Department:

While technology has made DJing much more portable, it has also required DJs to master the tech arena as well. From DMX programming, web design, correctly setting EQ values, to firmware updates and wireless technology, a DJ is also their own personal tech department. Mastering this means research, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Technology is only going to move forward, and we have to, too.

DJing in 2018 is much more complex than two turntables and a microphone. So for those who are just getting started, be prepared to grow and learn in ways you never thought you would.

We are more than “just a DJ.”

Happy Mixing!

Fun, creative, and ambitions, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit https://www.facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch/

The Triangle: Conferences, Workshops, & Coaching/Mentoring

By Brian Buonassisi:

As we embark on a new year, I think it’s important to assess where you are at and where you want to go in 2018. I’m not talking about fickle New Year’s Resolutions but more to steering your business in the right direction. For some, no major course correction is needed. For others, you many need to completely change directions due to where the wind in your market is taking you. Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a pattern to growth and it’s not a linear thing. It’s like a triangle – you keep going through it. You’re either in need of conferences, workshops or coaching/mentoring. All of them have their place but I thought as you start thinking through your 2018 budget, this is a perfectly timed topic to talk through each one.

Conferences
There’s really 3 “national” DJ conferences out there: Mobile Beat, Marquee, and the DJ Expo. While you can definitely pick up some things to help your business at any of them, these conferences are mainly inspiration and network heavy. To encourage attendance, the show producers have to cast a wide net and cover as broad material as possible. You have the beginners all the way through to the industry veterans. It’s a great way to re-charge with your DJ brothers and sisters as well as take in a ton of information over a couple days. However, the reality is that it could take weeks if not months to go through all your notes and implement a strategy to employ some of it.

Workshops
Typically, workshops are more narrowed in scope. You are drilling down on a specific subject matter (or two) rather than a large range of categories. For example, you may want to improve with mic etiquette or scratching or sales, etc. If there’s an area that you feel you could use some development in, finding a workshop to address that area could be the solution. The other advantage to workshops is that you interact with those who are looking to learn the same type of subject matter. That can bond you together with a person you may never have had a chance to meet otherwise.

Coaching/Mentoring
So far it may appear like each one of these options is a step up from the other. While coaching/mentoring could feel that way, I honestly think it could be a great first step. Rather than undoing bad habits or mistakes, you are able to deal with issues in real time. Finding a coach or a mentor isn’t cheap (not for the good ones at least) but it saves you a lot of money in in the long run. These sessions are either in one on one settings or in a small group (10-20 people) whereas a conference may have thousands and a workshop could have up to a hundred or so. The constant touches (at minimum you’re meeting a few times a year but most meet weekly or monthly) and accountability with coaching/mentoring makes a ton of difference in not only getting started with a plan but staying the course.

For myself, I’m in the coaching/mentoring category this year. Not only am I being coached in 2018 but I’m also coaching others. I’m only a few days in and it’s already been rewarding. What are your needs? What category do you fall in? It could be you need a little of all three. The reality is that doing any of these three things is going to put you ahead of 90% of your competition and give you a leg up. I hope to see you in one of these settings in 2018 and if I can help you at all, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

Book More Events By Spreading Out Your Reviews

By Brian Buonassissi:

A wise businessman once told me, “To book more business, be everywhere.” These days it’s never been easier or more affordable to be everywhere — that’s why reviews are so great! They don’t cost you anything and with a ton of third-party review sites out there, your chances of clients finding you go way up the more places those reviews can be seen.

Just like social media, some will gravitate to certain platform over others. Very few (that I’ve seen anyway) use multiple review sites. I also think asking clients to leave reviews on multiple review sites comes across as a chore (even if it is just a copy and paste) and does nothing to motivate them to jump on a computer and start cranking out a review.

One of the biggest changes we’ve made in our business to increase the number of places where we can be found is to ask clients what reviews sites they use on our client intake form. We’ve struck the verb “review” from our company vernacular (it’s such an ugly word) so the way we phrase these questions (we feel) helps us get those answers.

Here’s the verbiage we use…
*Have you set up a Knot Profile?
*Have you set up a WeddingWire Profile?
*Are you a frequent Yelper?
*Do you use Google Reviews?
*Do you use Facebook Reviews?

If there are other sites you use which have an option for reviews (i.e. GigMasters, Thumbtack, etc.), you might want to add those to the list above. By asking these questions on a client intake form, it is much more disarming. That said, if they don’t fill this out before our “creative planning meeting”, we’ll do it in person when we meet. It gives us a good idea of not only the effectiveness of this strategy but also gives us direction on where to send them when it’s time to send them a request to “share their experience”.

This is important for Yelp especially. With that particular site, if they aren’t a frequent Yelper, it doesn’t do any good to send them there because their review will be posted under the “unverified” category and those reviews are not easy to find. Yelp (as do all these sites) want it to feel organic and not as if the company asked for it. If they are a frequent Yelper, send them there. Those reviews won’t get flagged and you should be fine.

Now, going this route may cut down how many reviews you get on a specific site and could put your “best of” awards from those sites in jeopardy by not meeting a certain threshold. If they utilize more than two of these sites mentioned above, we’ll rotate out our review requests every three or so months with which one we push clients to use, assuming they are using multiple platforms.

By doing it this way, it still allows us to hit that magical number to qualify for the awards.

If you have never tried this approach, I encourage you to give it a test run. See if your inquiry sources start to multiply. If your sales pitch is solid, this should hopefully lead to more bookings.

Let me know how it works for you.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brianbuonassissi@discjockeynews.com.

Communication is Key: Creating Connections w/ Mitch TayloR

By Mitch Taylor:

I don’t know about you but at the age of 42 I find it increasingly difficult to communicate with today’s millennial brides, the majority of who tend to prefer to communicate via email. My assistant (a 24-year-old millennial herself) and I had occasion to discuss this the other day after a bridal show and were amazed that some businesses still use very formal language to communicate with young brides — only to be left wondering why they get no response.

Speak to a prospective bride just as she is speaking to you.  If she’s using short sentences with basic language, do the same. If she mentions descriptive words about her event use those same words in your reply.

Here’s an example of an email recently received and how we handled it to get the appointment:

Hello I am just getting ideas and prices at the moment and I was wondering around what your average pricing would be I would also like the uplighting also an email would prob be the best way to respond thanks for your time.

Amber

My response:

Hi!  How’s your wedding planning going?  I got your email regarding entertainment and uplighting for your wedding.  I attached a photo above to show you examples of our work and how we can transform your venue too.  Feel free to call me anytime and let’s talk about your day.  906.786.6967.  Thanks for contacting me and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 Mitch

Bride’s Reply:

I am sorry I have gotten your calls but been busy working.  At this time we are going to go with a live band from 8-12.  I am looking to rent uplighting (for the whole night of the reception) and also entertainment from 4:00pm-8pm.  Not many have been willing to do that time slot since it is Labor Day weekend.  Please let me know

My response:

Hi Amber,

Sure…we can do that.  When’s a good time for us to get together to chat about your wedding?

Bride’s Reply:

I work in Marquette at Lowe’s.  My next days off are Monday and Tuesday.  I have a cake appointment in Marquette on Monday at 12pm.  Where are you located and what is a good time for you?

My reply:

Hi Amber,

What about Monday at 1:30pm?  Would that work?

Bride’s Reply:

Yes I think that would work.  What is the best phone number to get a hold of you in case I need too?  I have a cake appointment a 12:00 so I will be in town.

 My next response was to send her an email confirming that date and time with an appointment reminder from DJ Event Planner.

Bottom line: Brides want to do business with someone who understands what they want, gives them the information they need in a timely fashion connects with them.

Be real. Be honest. But most importantly be relatable. Speak to them the same way through email as you would over the phone.

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

 

3 Ways To Jump Start Your DJ Business

By: DJ Brian B

During the beginning of the year people tend to make New Year’s resolutions, not just personally but also professionally. I’ve never been a fan of this strategy because most people will go overboard with ambition by setting unrealistic goals and by February (or March if they’re lucky), things are back to the status quo.

That said I’ve always been a fan of “jump starts”. The first of the year is a good time to do this but I actually think you should do this 2-3 times a year or whenever your business could use a little kick in the pants. It’s similar to downing a 5-hour energy drink or getting an oil change that gets your vehicle back running smoothly. In doing so, you feel rejuvenated… until you need another jump start.

As it relates to the DJ business, here are 3 ways to jump start your DJ business:

  1. ATTEND AN INDUSTRY SHOW OR WORKSHOP… There are a few DJ shows located throughout the country at various times of the year that make it finding one that’s convenient pretty easy. Chances are your competitors aren’t going to these. This not only sets you apart, but you’ll get a nugget or two that they will not be privy to. Most shows have exhibit halls where you get a chance to see all the new gear (some with discounted show specials for purchase). Another option is to develop your own craft by attending some premium workshops (PHDJ, MarBecca, The Event Experience, etc.). If you’ve “been there done that” with the DJ shows/workshops, why not look into an industry specific show? If you are a wedding DJ, consider the WeddingMBA Show. If you are more of a Corporate Event DJ, consider the TSE Show. Those two have more than just DJs in attendance and you’ll get yet another perspective that may set you a part in the DJ world.
  2. BRING IN A CONSULTANT… From time to time, I want to get an outside perspective on my business. This doesn’t need to be a yearly check-up, although the more you do it, the better off you will be. Look for someone who is ahead of where you are and where you’d like to be. They should look through your entire business (systems, marketing, etc.) and give feedback on things you’re doing right and where you can improve. Invaluable insight can be gained from someone not in your bubble. It has been worth every penny for me to fly in someone and get a day or so of their time. I’ve made that back and then some.
  3. READ… Harry S. Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” I firmly believe you should always be reading something. Here are two recommendations for you (note: I’m in no way endorsed by either of these publishers or authors; I’ve just found them to be very helpful for me). The first is “Built To Sell” by John Warrilow and the second is “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz. Both have fantastic takeaways that can help any business.

Simple steps that allow you to take some time to work ON the business instead of IN the business. If you can do all three, fantastic. If not, pick just one. You will be so glad you did.

 

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian B is a successful nationally traveling private event headlining DJ/MC. He runs a multi-city mobile business with offices in Orange County, Calif, Destin, FL and New York City. You can check find him at djbrianbofficial.com or bboyproductions.com